Breathe Easy, You've Found Me ((HUGS))

People will wonder why this blog is needed, why minority midwifery student? It's very simple actually; I was looking for this blog...but I couldn't find I created it. We all have unique experiences, and every experience, every story, can help someone else. I am a black girl from the hood at an ivy league professional school. That, alone, is reason enough to write. Somebody was looking for this blog. Someone wanted proof that what I'm doing can be done - even when you come from where we come from.

To that person especially, WELCOME.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


passes by slowly at the hospital and clinic, fast on the weekends, and even faster in blogland. I have been gone a long time from my blog. I'm tired and overwhelmed with integration and my thesis. There's so much I could write if I didn't spend every free moment eating, writing on other people's blogs, logging onto facebook, or simply sleeping. Already Saturday night is here. That means tomorrow is Sunday, and the next day is Monday. Monday. Back to integration. One never really leaves though I guess. The first three weeks of integration were tough, but still I did it. I had every intention on writing about it often, but since I'm living it, I never want to spend any extra minutes talking about it. Honestly, I just want it to end. I'm tired. I don't think it's midwifery. I think I'm just smack dab in the middle of a severe case of senioritis that is compounded by the fact that I've been in school nonstop for the last... six years. OMG. I didn't realize that it's been six (goin on seven now) freakin years straight. No wonder I'm exhausted. Just plain burnt out. This is the explanation for why I have vivid, relentless daydreams about working as a temp answering phones, setting appointments, or typing documents. I just want to sit down. Rest. Work. Get a check. And go the hell home. Preferably before it gets dark. No one quizzing me. No panic at not knowing the answer. No extreme thinking necessary. No studying after work. No taking it home with you, to bed with you, in your dreams. Of course I want to sleep. I've been at this for 6 freaking years. The bureaucracy, the smiling, the bullshit. Ahh. Academia. Fill in this bubble, jump this hoop, pay this fee. No, no, no, leave who you were over... there. See, I'm trying to show you the way... this way, this is what you want, this is what we need.

But I'm sitting here wondering, how in the hell did I get here?

All as time passes me by.

I've been catching babies. It's harder than I ever, ever imagined it would be.  I didn't think it'd be easy, but I definitely didn't think it'd be this hard.  When I read the blogs of homebirthing midwives, there is such calm. It all seems so normal. So very different than what I'm learning. I try to tell myself to stop comparing, homebirth and hospital birth... apples to oranges, really.  Because I'm at a high volume hospital and midwifery practice, I often manage multiple patients at once. For example, on my first day, I caught as many babies as I did my whole first semester of midwifery school... and I caught them in a matter of hours. Yeah. Granted it really isn't that many, but I was shocked and scared and thinking, what the hell kind of midwifery is this? I know this is what it's like in high volume settings with low resources. But I had no idea that this was also the case for midwives here working regular hours at"regular ol' hospitals." I often find myself managing inductions, triage, and births simultaneously, then rounding on all the postpartum patients.  I find myself thinking, I couldn't do this for real, all day, all week. I can see the bright red burnout sign before I even start.  I am 10 times more interested in group prenatal care now then I was before I experienced what a true high volume clinic is like. I have never seen group prenatal care in action, but I know it must be better to get 12 women together in a room for 2 hours than to try to see the same twelve individually in the same amount of time- leaving you 10 whopping minutes per patient. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Integration Status

I'm tired. Dead on my feet. That's about all.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Winding Down and Orientation

It's really hard to embrace the fact that my vacation is winding down. This morning I had a meeting with the midwifery practice to learn more about my schedule, the practice and what's expected. Early this week, my main preceptor emailed me and said that for Monday (my first day on the L&D floor) I needed to "bring a lab coat and wear comfortable shoes." Today I found out why. Busy + poorly designed. Here are the stats:

L&D rooms: 10
A multiple room triage cluster
PP rooms (unknown, but two floors)
A Birth Center Suite (this is awesome, by the way)

Now, this isn't a very large maternity ward (well PP is kinda large, but still) However, it's a very busy practice... in fact the practice has multiple offices. I would say that at sometimes 100 births a month, they qualify as high volume. So, although there aren't a lot of rooms, there are a lot of patients, and the layout is kinda all over the place (different corridors, part of PP is on a different floor, etc) There are a lot midwives on the schedule for this month, and they provide 24/7 coverage to their patients. My schedule for this month is usually two 12hr call shifts and one and a half clinic days per week. Sometimes I have a 24hr call shift and one clinic day. I have never done a real 24hr call shift before... this will be interesting (I have been on call for 24hrs before, but not required to be in the hospital all that time) I like the fact that to be "on call" is to show up for a full shift. No waiting for the call, no getting up in the middle of the night- just show up at 8am for your shift. Period. Because it is so hard to learn and adjust to different midwives schedules, I am trying to stick with 2, maybe 3, midwives during integration, but of course it may not work out that way. I also think this is important because you want to have stability and someone who can accurately measure your progress every week. I am also going to try to stick to one main clinic because the private office and county clinic have different procedures and honestly it's hard enough learning one set. 

I got a badge this morning and a list of required tasks (HIPPA, etc) to do this weekend. My badge says "Ivy1 Medical Student" which really made me cringe. Now not only will everyone know what school I go to, but they will think I'm a med student. sigh. I have a drug test scheduled in two weeks.

Things I Left Feeling Good About:
  • The midwife that oriented me was really nice and wanted to put me on her own schedule for the next few weeks
  • I will get plenty of experiences both in clinic and on L&D
  • Waterbirth (woohoo!)
  • The midwife call room- very cozy and all ours!
  • Plenty of hours to choose from when making my schedule
Things That Left Me Hyperventilating:
  • The 34hr work week
  • The fact that this is it
I guess it's good that the good list is longer than the omg! list.

The plan is to study very casually this weekend... all weekend.